Monthly Archives: August 2008

Yup. No Finesse There

[Detroit News] Citing Barack Obama’s recent pass on a similar question — “At what point does a baby get human rights?” — Brokaw asked Pelosi what she would say to Obama were he to ask her advice.

Pelosi didn’t finesse her answer, as Obama did when he said the question was above his pay grade, but she may wish she had.

“I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time,” Pelosi began. “And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctrines of the church have not been able to make that definition. … St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on a woman’s right to choose. … I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins.”


Finagle A Seat, Win A Soapbox

[CTV] The Green Party now has its first MP in Parliament, and he is an ex-Liberal who had resigned from that party’s caucus over accusations of election financing irregularities.

The Greens, a relatively young federal party in Canada, have not yet elected an MP in either a byelection or general election. As a result, its leaders have not been invited to participate in televised leaders’ debates during the campaign. However, it did capture 4.5 per cent of the popular vote in the Jan. 23, 2006 election, which entitles it to public financing.

May noted in the release that with “a Green MP sitting in the House of Commons, it will now be impossible to exclude the Green Party from the televised leaders’ debates in the next election.”

Iranian Nukes? No Sweat. Geneva Science Experiment? Against Human Rights.

[Telegraph] Critics of the Large Hadron Collider – a £4.4 billion machine due to be switched on in ten days time – have lodged a lawsuit at the European Court for Human Rights against the 20 countries, including the UK, that fund the project.

The device is designed to replicate conditions that existed just a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, and its creators hope it will unlock the secrets of how the universe began.

However, opponents fear the machine, which will smash pieces of atoms together at high speed and generate temperatures of more than a trillion degrees centigrade, may create a mini-black hole that could tear the earth apart.

Scientists involved in the project have dismissed the fears as “absurd” and insist that extensive safety assessments on the 17 mile long particle accelerator have demonstrated that it is safe.

92-Year-Old UK Protester: Closing Post Office Outlet Violates Human Rights

[Western Morning News] WHEN 92-year-old great-grandmother Lillian Brown was spotted lying on her back in the middle of a busy high street, passers-by naturally dashed over to help her back on her feet.

But Mrs Brown had no intention of moving.

Far from being a frail pensioner in distress, Mrs Brown was a protester determined to bring the town to a standstill in anger at the closure of her local post office.

Eileen Noakes, 85, who joined the protest, said: “Any civilised government subsides public services, but in this country, every single thing is judged on whether it makes a profit. It’s an erosion of our civil liberties and human rights – that’s what we’re really protesting about.”

Inclusion And Equality = Ban Heterosexuals From Competition

[UK Gay News] English club Stonewall Lions FC has convincingly won the Gay World Football Championship today at Leyton Orient’s league ground, the Matchroom Stadium, in London.

The London-based club defeated the Argentine team Safgay FC, 5-0, the biggest winning margin in a final since the inaugural competition in September 1997 in Washington DC.

Stonewall previously won the Gay Football World Championship in 2002 and 2006, and last month won the European Gay Football Championship.

“Gay footballers are helping break down stereotypes and prejudice.  They are ambassadors for gay inclusion and equality. Gay football enhances understanding and acceptance of gay and lesbian people,” he concluded.

Pakistani Senator: Don’t Politicize Murder

[Daily Times] The killing of women for honour is a demand of the tribal traditions, Balochistan Senator Israrullah Zehri informed the Senate on Friday.

Zehri was responding to Senator Yasmeen Shah’s statement in which she had drawn the House’s attention towards reports that five women had been buried alive in Balochistan in the name of honour. She called it a sheer violation of human rights.

Zehri asked the members not to politicise the issue, as it was a matter of safeguarding the tribal traditions.

Lame Times At Appeasement High

[Brampton News] The Peel District School Board’s newest secondary school is the first in the world to be named for leading Canadian human rights advocate Louise Arbour. Louise Arbour Secondary School is located in the Springdale area of Brampton and will open in fall 2009.

Notes Janet McDougald, chair of the board, “Louise Arbour is a passionate and determined human rights advocate who has worked to improve the human condition around the world. Her commitment to social justice connects strongly to the vision and focus of our new school.”


[National Post] In the aftermath of the 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, Arbour even went so far as to suggest that the Jewish state had more blood on its hands than the terrorists who started the war in the first place: “In [the case of Hezbollah] you could have, for instance, a very objectionable intent — the intent to harm civilians, which is very bad — but effectively not a lot of harm is actually achieved,” she said. “[But] how can you compare that with [Israel,] where you may not have an intent but you have recklessness [in which] civilian casualties are foreseeable? The culpability or the intent may not sound as severe, but the actual harm is catastrophic.”